England v North Macedonia: Hosts out to maintain perfect start
England host North Macedonia at Old Trafford on Monday night looking to maintain their perfect start to their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.
Gareth Southgate’s side have taken a stranglehold on Group C after a comfortable victory over minnows Malta on Friday.
Here we look at some of the major talking points and England v North Macedonia betting odds ahead of the Three Lions’ final fixture of the season.
The visit of North Macedonia marks the midway point of England’s quest to qualify for the finals in Germany next summer.
Heading into the game, the Group C favourites sit six points clear at the top having already recorded victories over Ukraine and Italy before easing past Malta.
As it stands after 3️⃣ games…
📈 Group C pic.twitter.com/Q1SZAiuUIP
— England (@England) June 16, 2023
A win against North Macedonia, which looks a certainty at 1/10, would complete a clean sweep of their group opponents at the halfway point and see Southgate’s side close in on securing their place in December’s draw.
England to win and five or more goals to be scored is priced at 13/5.
Alexander-Arnold a natural
Despite being regarded as one of Europe’s best right-backs, Trent Alexander-Arnold has had to be patient in his attempts to lock down a regular place in the England squad – let alone the starting XI.
The Liverpool defender, however, shone in a midfield role in the win over Malta and said the position felt “natural” to him.
Sterner tests await but, with Southgate enthused by his display, Alexander-Arnold could become a mainstay in the middle of the park for England and is 11/4 to be on target again after netting England’s second against Malta.
Eze does it
Eberechi Eze became the latest senior England international as he came off the bench to replace James Maddison in the latter stages of the routine win in Malta.
It was fine reward for the 24-year-old following a purple patch at Crystal Palace and now he will be pushing to make his first start.
Released by Millwall in 2016, it would mark a meteoric rise for Eze, who has a long-term admirer in Southgate.
Treble trouble for North Macedonia
The Manchester City contingent within the England ranks were named on the bench in Malta, with just Phil Foden playing any minutes.
Having been involved in the Champions League final less than a week earlier – and the ensuing celebrations – Southgate opted to keep Kyle Walker, Kalvin Phillips, John Stones and Jack Grealish in reserve.
That may not be the case at Old Trafford, however, with the City quintet wanting to end a memorable season on another high.
On the road
The trip to Old Trafford marks England’s first game on home soil not to be staged at Wembley since the humiliating 4-0 Nations League loss to Hungary a year ago.
Molineux was the venue for that shock scoreline on June 14, 2022 as loud jeers and chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” echoed around Wolves’ stadium.
Old Trafford is a more familiar setting for England games but Southgate will hope the result – and the reception – will be a much more positive experience this time out.
Looking at the England v North Macedonia betting odds, the Three Lions are 18/5 to make a dream start by scoring in the first 10 minutes while Coral also have an Odds Boost of 21/10 for both Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford to score.
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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication